CSN Reflection for October 2021
What if….? What if….? What if….? It seems as if our in boxes are filled with articles prognosticating all sorts of scenarios the vast majority of which have the potential to send our anxieties levels soring though the roof. What if democracy fails? What if entire areas of the Western U.S. become uninhabitable because of fire or drought? What if radical, right wing-white-supremacists gain influence?
One strategy to cope with all of this is the all too familiar, “I no longer listen to the news” statement; then there is the more moderate “I ration my time for watching the news.” Surely there are those unique moments when life might demand either. We ask, however, might we need a more radical response, a more regular one, which is capable of creating within ourselves a spaciousness which can hold myriad possibilities for evil and good in a larger context? Enter contemplative practice.
A regular regime of contemplative sitting, alone or with others, carves new levels of interiority within us. Ironically, both unwarranted factual certitude and irrational fear dissipate, revealing “prayer’s dynamic action, that scoops out channels like water on stone.”* There is a 13.8 billion year grounding to it all held in Wisdom even amidst what seems to us the wildest possibilities. We can be at peace even as it all flows through the channels of time. Why not continue to sit?
Margaret and Nancy
*For the Asking, Denise Levertov